July 7, 2010

Democrats tap Trinward

Peter Garrett, a Winslow hydrogeologist, finished second

By Susan M. Cover
State House Bureau

WATERVILLE -- Democrats chose Rep. Pamela Jabar Trinward as their candidate in the Senate District 25 race in a contested caucus Tuesday night.

click image to enlarge

REPLACING MARRACHE: State Rep. Pam Trinward of Waterville introduces herself to attendees at a Democratic caucus at Waterville Senior High School on Tuesday night. Trinward later won a run off election with Peter Garrett of Winslow to replace State Sen. Lisa Marrache as Democratic Party candidate for the State Senate District 25 seat. Marrache recently dropped out of the race. Trinward will face Republican Thomas Martin of Benton for the Senate seat.

Photo by Jeff Pouland

Trinward, a Waterville Democrat, earned 82 votes at the meeting while Peter Garrett, a Winslow hydrogeologist, got 28.

Because Trinward had already registered to run for re-election to the House, Waterville Democrats now need to meet to choose a replacement candidate in House District 77, part of Waterville.

"The next Legislature will face enormous challenges. There are no easy answers, no quick fixes," Trinward told the crowd gathered in the Waterville Senior High School auditorium.

Trinward has served nearly four years in the House, most recently as House chairwoman of the Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee. She said she's worked to reform ethics laws, clarify the Clean Election process and simplify voting.

Trinward fills the vacancy left after Assistant Senate Majority Leader Lisa Marraché, D-Waterville, announced recently that she was dropping out of the race. Marraché, who had served 10 years in the Legislature, said she could no longer balance the demands of her family and medical practice with legislative service.

Garrett, 65, said he hoped to use his experience as a scientist -- he was the state's first hazardous-waste hydrogeologist -- to help improve the Department of Environmental Protection. In June, he lost the House District 54 Democratic primary to Catherine Nadeau.

The decision Tuesday comes another step closer to setting the field for the 35 Senate races on the ballot this November. All seats are up for grabs as Democrats try to hold on to their 20-15 margin in an unpredictable election year.

Last week, Democrats chose Patrice Putman as a candidate in Senate District 21 to replace Rep. Nancy Smith, who cited a new job as the reason for dropping out of the race.

Trinward will face Thomas H. Martin Jr., of Benton, in the race for the district that covers Albion, Benton, Clinton, Unity Township, Waterville, Winslow, Detroit and Pittsfield.

The candidates were asked to share their assessment of the mood of the electorate and how it might affect the races this fall.

Trinward, 56, said she believes voters in legislative races choose a person, not a party.

"The reality of it is we've done very well in Maine with balancing the budget without shutting down government," she said.

Susan Cover -- 620-7015

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